The Executioner ropes you in quickly and keeps you there until the end. I recently played the demo for The Executioner, a firmly text based game where you fill the shoes of Theodore Grimm, a novice Royal Executioner who instantly knows when people are lying to him. I had heard about this game and thought the concept was incredibly unique.
The Plot of The Executioner
The game begins with your father, the current executioner, on trial for treason. At the start, it seems like this setup is politically motivated. We meet several different characters, and the game does a good job building up intrigue. As mentioned before the game is heavily text based, but while you are reading, your choices are affecting the world around you.
The decisions you make affect your own character’s sanity, as well as the stability of the kingdom, and your knowledge of the occult. The game’s user interface does a great job of representing all of this at the top of the screen. The UI combined with a simple inventory system give the Executioner a strong text-based RPG feel.
Apart from just executing criminals, however, there is one more job for your character. Before each execution, you have to make the accused sign a confession. This part of the game as torturous as it sounds.
You must balance your stamina while inflicting horrors upon the guilty, making sure not to kill them or drive them mad in the process, all to get them to sign a confession or name accomplices within the allotted amount of time. Failing to do this could cause unrest in the city, potentially leading to an uprising should you continue to fail.
Why The Executioner Is Worth Loving
All of these elements combine to make not just a truly captivating story but also raises questions regarding how far is too far to go for the truth. The hour long demo hardly felt like enough, and the game can create an environment with words that few games can compete with while using 3D graphics and buckets of blood.
The system works because the world is actually dynamic. Your actions don’t just determine if you will be the standard Paragon or Renegade character, but how the rest of the world interacts with each other as a whole. This chaos system is an exciting way to make your environment a much a character as any person Theodore meets.
I am very excited for this game and hope it does well. It is currently on Kickstarter where you can play the free demo. I strongly recommend testing it and then backing the project when you find yourself wanting more.